Character Creation

I talked about character creation a bit in my post about character optimization, and I talked about how well built characters can really drive stories along in an even older post but right now I’m just going to talk about the important things people should think about when they are making a character for an rpg.  

Fun:  The first thing that you really need to get down is coming up with a base concept for your character that will be enjoyable for you to play.  Preferably this is something that will be fun for a long time, unless the campaign is of a shorter nature as you and your character will often be together for years.  Generally the sort of things that get decided here are personality and some of their cool tricks and abilities.  For example, I played a wizard in one campaign because I like to have a spell up my sleeve for every occasion.  None of that wizards spells were that strong individually but I made sure he had options galore.  

Teamwork:  This does not nessisarilly mean mechanical teamwork, though that can be nice as well, but you want to make sure that your character is fun for the other players as well.  If everyone else wants to spend a lot of time talking down opponents and debating the morals of various things, no one is going to have fun if you make a mindless combat drone.  Try to pick personalities, abilities and goals so they either work together well, or at least create interesting conflict when they don’t agree.  A strong party dynamic is one of the most important things in any group game, and putting a bit of thought into how your character is going to mesh with the others both mechanically and fluff wise can be really helpful.

Backstory: To have a really strong and interesting character, adventuring for the heck of it is rarely the way to go.  Give the gm a lot of ideas and set yourself up with the kind of conflict you want to be involved with by creating a backstory that sets that up.  Give your character friends he can count on and foes he already hates before the story begins.  Most importantly give your character a strong goal.  There has to be some powerful reason for your character to be out their risking his life every day, and while being in it for the lols is easy, it rarely creates a compelling character.  Again, going back to the first point, here is where you get to decide what sort of story you want to play.  You get to create your characters goals, or at least one of them and that will let you decide what sort of story you are playing in.

There are plenty of other things to think about in creating a character, like optimization and what sort of world the game is run in and such, and I may think of more and expand on the topic, but these are the main things that pop into my head when I am making a character, and I think they are worth thinking about.


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